Now it’s time to return to the man on the bridge. That man wrote a note and mailed it, dropped his kids at school, and then stood on the bridge. Ten years later, a bank robber fails to rob a bank and holds eight people hostage at an apartment viewing. A person can see the bridge in question from the balcony’s apartment. This all has nothing to do with the reader—except that the reader is a decent person who obviously would’ve tried to talk the man down off the bridge. The reader has no doubt been depressed before, and everyone knows that there’s not much distance between themselves and the man on the bridge. Readers would’ve tried to save the man.
The novel begins to use the bridge as a central symbol around which other elements of the story rotate. In this case, the story highlights this by noting that one can see the bridge from the apartment’s balcony. However, more importantly, the narrator again suggests that people have more in common with one another than they often think they do. Additionally, the narrator proposes that deep down, most people are good and want to help others. These core beliefs about human nature continue to help readers see the novel’s characters as sympathetic—and perhaps a lot like the reader.